donderdag 26 februari 2015

Winter in Berdorf!

All the nice outdoor climbing in Turkey, Switserland and Spain made me hungry for more, but with no more holidays on the planning for the coming period, there is no time to go far away again. Luckily there are also nice rocks pretty close to The Netherlands.

One of the most beautiful climbing spots is Berdorf, in Luxembourg. The forest there is magical and the sandstone rocks are great for climbing. So last weekend José (one of the guys I met in Turkey) and me headed to Berdorf.
After all the limestone climbing in Turkey and Spain I had to get used to sandstone again, but suprisingly that went pretty fast. I was really happy to climb in the rock again, no matter the cold (which wasn't that bad, because it created perfect friction). The first day I managed to sent Daïwel (7b+) in my second go. The next day we tried Ywene Ywene, a nice 7c+ with a lot of small crimpers. Not really my style but it was a really nice line. Unfortunately I didn't manage to climb the crux. In the night it started snowing, so no climbing on our last day. José took the quickdraws out Ywene Ywene, we enjoyed the view of Berdorf covered under snow and we drove back to The Netherlands.

dinsdag 24 februari 2015

El Chorro - Spain

Two weeks after the worldcup adventure, a new trip started at the airport in Malaga. This time Noël and me exchanged the cold and wet ice for the sun, warmth and rocks of El Chorro. The first day we were not so lucky with the weather. It started raining so we decided to go to the famous cave Poema de roca. This cave has some really nice and classic routes, but unfortunately most of them are polished.

The next day we went to the sector Suizo. Also here nice routes, much less polished than in Poema de roca. After this day we were used to the rocks and ready for a multipitch. We chose Café con bourbon. Four lengths (5+, 6b+, 7a, 6c+) of beautiful climbing with huge tufa's. In the last pitch we had to fight hard against the wind, which was trying to blow us away. But we won!

Bruno likes it :)

Next day was supposed to be a rest day, but the rocks were begging to be climbed, something I couldn't resist. So in the end I did some running in the morning and some climbing in the afternoon, which made this my worst rest day ever.

Everybody told us that Makinodromo is a really nice crag with a beauty of an 8a. Exactly where I was looking for! So after my "rest" day, Noël and me made a beautiful but long walk to Makinodromo and I tried the 8a (Lourdes). It was a very long and nice route with lots of tufa's in it, lovely! Unfortunately I didn't felt strong enough to climb it.

Next day the weather was shit again, so we decided to go to the Poema de roca again to try some hard routes. In the end of the day Noël was working in a 7a+ when it got dark. In the complete darkness we had to find our way back through the forest full of owls. We left last and came back the next day as first to do a 12 pitches long multipitch (4, 6a, 6c, 6c+, 7a, 6a+, 5+, 6b, 6c+, 6a, 3, 3+), all the way up to the face of Frontales, starting right of the cave. On our way up we saw vultures making spectacular acrobatic moves in the air. As a reward we ate pancakes on the top and afterwards we started abseiling down until our rope got stuck, so I climbed the first 6c+ pitch again... This took us 40 minutes more time than expected, so in the end we were in the wall for 10 hours and we had to walk back in the dark again.

The next day our arms felt they had done something so we had a relax start of the day and climbed a little bit in the rocks above our campside (Los Encantados). Then it was time to leave again. We had a great time in El Chorro with lots of free food, meeting new people and absolutely amazing climbs!

zondag 1 februari 2015

Worldcup ice climbing Saas Fee

My first world cup where I was not cleening the holds but climbing myself was finally there! Not, like I had always thought, in a sportclimbing competition, but instead in an iceclimbing world cup. How comes?

The Dutch ice climbing team, existing of Marianne van der Steen and Dennis van Hoek, were searching for new members of the team. After becoming second at the Dutch Drytool event (De Scottish Anna Wells became first), they asked me if I would like to join them to the worldcup Ice climbing in Saas Fee. Because I'd never done any iceclimbing we would go the week before the world cup to Kandersteg for some iceclimbing,drytooling and mixed climbing.

Trainings week IWC Saas Fee met Aniek en Noël 2015 from Marianne van der Steen on Vimeo.

After this great training week we drove to Saas Fee. On our way we found a nice ice pillar next to the road, which we decided to climb (you're a climber or you're not).

In Saas Fee the NKBV arranged a luxurious 4 stars hotel for us, with wellness. So after arriving we enjoyed the wellness and in the evening we went to the registration and dinner for the worldcup.

The next day we had to be early in the isolation. After 2 hours in the isolation it was finally my time to climb. I was a bit nervous and stressed about the climbing time: only 4.30 minutes! So in the beginning I wanted to climb as fast as possible, but I didn't knew where to go: there where 2 possibilities: go to the right and climb through a big cube of ice, or go straight. The last option was quite a long move, but because it saved you a few movements (and time) I decided to go for that option. Fortunately I managed to make the long move. A few meters higher up in the route there was a steinpull (undercling) and again a long move. With not that much time on the clock left I managed to make a mantle over the steinpull but unfortunately (with no time left on the clock) my ice axe slipped off the next hold.
This brought me in a 20th place. Just missed the semi finals but still very happy with this result! Marianne did a very good job, ending in a 8th place.

But the worldcup wasn't finished yet: we also competed in speed climbing! Because I regularly run out of time in competitions and I don't have that much ice climbing experience, I was curious about how the speed climbing would go.
The first time was horrible, but every attempt I climbed almost 10 seconds faster so in the end it went pretty ok (for my standarts). Because all woman made it to the finals, I had to climb finals of speed climbing in the evening. Me in the finals of speed climbing! The biggest joke in propably my whole life! I became 18th, but it was a very nice experience though. It is also surprisingly how the speed climbing is dominated by the Russian. So in 2013 Dennis did excellent by winning the world cup speed climbing!

It was a very educational week, very much thanks to Dennis and Marianne for learning me everything and the coaching. They made me addicted to iceclimbing and I really hope I can climb more ice climbing competitions next year! :-D